Saturday, May 5, 2018

ARC Review: Flowers and Foul Play by Amanda Flower

Flowers and Foul Play
Author: Amanda Flower
Series: A Magic Garden Mystery
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (May 8, 2018)

Description: Fiona Knox lost her fiancĂ© and her flower shop―but when she flies to Scotland to inherit her godfather’s cottage and possibly magical walled garden, she may lose her life as well when she’s swept into a murder investigation.

Florist Fiona Knox’s life isn’t smelling so sweet these days. Her fiancĂ© left her for their cake decorator. Then, her flower shop wilted after a chain florist opened next door. So when her godfather, Ian MacCallister, leaves her a cottage in Scotland, Fiona jumps on the next plane to Edinburgh. Ian, after all, is the one who taught her to love flowers. But when Ian’s elderly caretaker Hamish MacGregor shows her to the cottage upon her arrival, she finds the once resplendent grounds of Duncreigan in a dreadful shambles―with a dead body in the garden.

Minutes into her arrival, Fiona is already being questioned by the handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig and getting her passport seized. But it’s Craig’s fixation on Uncle Ian’s loyal caretaker, Hamish, as a prime suspect, that really makes her worried. As Fiona strolls the town, she quickly realizes there are a whole bouquet of suspects much more likely to have killed Alastair Croft, the dead lawyer who seems to have had more enemies than friends.

Now it’s up to Fiona to clear Hamish’s name before it’s too late in Flowers and Foul Play, USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s spellbinding first Magic Garden mystery.

My Thoughts: Fiona's godfather in Scotland has passed away and left his estate, including a magical garden, to her. The inheritance comes at a good time. Fiona's flower shop in Nashville has gone under and her fiance has decided that he likes the cake decorator more. So Fiona takes her broken heart off to Scotland to settle her godfather's estate.

Upon arrival, she is greeted by Hamish who has been her Uncle Ian's caretaker and gardener during the many times Ian's military service has taken him away from Scotland. Hamish's first goal is to show Fiona the garden which has been dying for lack of a caretaker. Unfortunately the garden has one unplanned addition. The corpse of Fiona's Scottish lawyer is there by the standing stone that is the center of the garden.

The police in the person of Chief Inspector Neil Craig arrive shortly much to Hamish's dismay. Craig is a local boy who had run afoul of Hamish for some pranks in the garden. Craig begins his investigation but Fiona is interested in investigating too.

As Fiona meets the residents of the nearby village, she quickly gathers a number of suspects. It seems her lawyer was in the process of brokering a real estate deal to turn some beloved beach into condos which angered most of the village and drew protests from environmentalists including Hamish's great-nephew. Another suspect is the lawyer's partner who was in love with him but didn't approve of his real estate deals. Ian's family and their magical garden had also drawn the ire of a local minister who is trying to run Fiona out of town. Throw in a local legend about some buried treasure from a shipwreck the led to Ian's ancestor settling in the area and you have still another motive for murder.

I liked the plot of this one but had trouble connecting with the main character who is the first  person narrator of the story. I didn't feel like I really got to know her beyond her distress at her broken engagement and her desire to clear the name of her uncle's elderly caretaker.

Favorite Quote:
Craig was a by-the-book sort of guy, which I found both frustrating and appealing, and which pretty much summed up how I felt about Craig altogether.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.


  1. Too bad you couldn't quite connect. I'm reading one similar to that right now. Still not a bad read though.

  2. I get disappointed when there is no connection mainly because I feel it is a waste of time. So many books, such a little time!


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